North East Connected

North East talent recognised in Entrepreneurs’ Forum award shortlist

The Entrepreneurs’ Forum has unveiled the shortlist for its 2017 North East Entrepreneurial Awards.

In partnership with the North East LEP, the 14th annual awards will celebrate the most aspirational and successful entrepreneurs in the North East. The event, which will take place at The Boiler Shop at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Friday 29th September, will be hosted by Penny Mallory OBE, the first woman in the World to compete in a World Rally Car in 1997.

The nominees for Emerging Talent, sponsored by O’Brien’s Waste Management, include Andy Stephenson (Weekend Box), Steven Rawlingson (Samuel Knight), Michaela Reaney (Gradvert) and Stephen Black and Ian McElroy (Tier One Capital).

The Scale-up Award, sponsored by NBS, is new for 2017 and recognises business owners who have led their company to achieve 20 per cent plus annualised growth in either turnover, profit or employee numbers for the past three years. The shortlist includes Ben Ridgway and Jamie Cooke (Intelligent Services Group), Nigel Begg (Aspire Technology Solutions) and Sara Davies (Crafter’s Companion).

In 2016, the Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Ward Hadaway, was awarded to John Waterworth. This year the honour will go to one of a shortlist made up of John Hays (Hays Travel), Roger Peart (Oil NRG), David Harrison (True Potential) and Julie Drummond (Drummond Central).

Mentor of the Year, sponsored by Malhotra Group, is announced on the night and recognises the important role altruistic peer-to-peer mentoring plays in business growth.

The Lifetime Achievement award, sponsored by Corporate Traveller, is kept a closely guarded secret until the evening of the dinner. This year’s winner will join such respected names as Sir Peter Vardy, Sir John Hall and John Fenwick, who have previously been presented with the accolade.

Gillian Marshall, chief executive of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum said, “This year we have been inundated with entries, proving that the North East’s entrepreneurial community is thriving. Entrepreneurs build the businesses that people rely on for jobs and economic growth and this region contains some stand-out individuals who are driving the North East forward.

“We present these accolades not only to recognise success, but to thank the entrepreneurs who take risks and help others to build their businesses. By working together and sharing the benefits of our collective experience, we continue to make business a force for social good in the North East.”

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